Regional business review
The Europe Middle East Africa (EMEA) region developed very positively in the 2021 financial year. Order intake rose steadily throughout all four quarters by a total of 41.1% to CHF 571.1 million, which is significantly higher than the pre-pandemic level of CHF 489.7 million in 2019 (+16.6%). On the one hand, catch-up effects following the previous year’s weaker performance due to the pandemic led to strong growth. On the other hand, the region benefited from a strong demand for laser cutting systems in the silver segment and automation solutions. Demand from customers in the agricultural, construction, semiconductor, and mechanical engineering sectors developed particularly well.
With a share of 50%, EMEA is Bystronic’s strongest region in terms of sales. In the reporting year, sales increased by 13.7% to CHF 469.7 million. All markets developed positively, although the recovery in Russia, Eastern Europe and the Middle East was somewhat less dynamic. Market shares in the region were gained in particular in the field of high-performance lasers and automation solutions.
Due to the positive investment environment for customers, we are confident that we will continue to grow in the EMEA region in 2022.
The Americas region recorded the group’s strongest growth in order intake. Increasing by 97.9% to CHF 365.5 million, new orders almost doubled. All applications across cutting, bending and automation achieved strong growth. Over the past few years, Bystronic has vigorously intensified its presence in the American growth market, opening its first US production location in Hoffman Estates (Chicago) at the end of 2021. This means that we can now produce locally and in closer proximity to the customer, in particular laser cutting systems in the silver segment.
Sales increased by 17.0% to CHF 234.3 million, thus reaching the pre-pandemic level. Laser cutting machines in the silver segment, for example the new BySmart, experienced the strongest growth. Our market share in the region increased in all areas, particularly with regard to laser systems, laser automation, and press brakes.
Even excluding the pandemic-related catch-up effects, the region expects further growth in 2022, particularly in the agricultural, transport and energy sectors. Starting in the second half of 2022, in addition to the development of the automation solutions business, Bystronic will drive forward the sales of its own software for smart factory solutions. This is being met with great interest in the region and has already been successfully installed for a number of test customers.
In the China region, order intake also grew significantly and has now returned to pre-pandemic levels. In total, demand increased by 17.2% to CHF 135.8 million. Following the complete takeover of DNE Laser in 2020, Bystronic continued to focus on developing the entry-level segments for cutting and bending, which has resulted in solid growth.
Demand in the first half of the year was very positive, growing by 63.9%. However, after the first half of the year, the market momentum slackened significantly and customers took a more cautious investment approach. Due to increased macroeconomic uncertainties caused by component shortages and shipping and energy supply challenges, order intake developed less dynamically in the second half of the year. Net sales grew by 21.0% to CHF 140.3 million and are thus significantly above both 2019 and 2020.
Thanks to the acquisition of DNE and the innovative advancement of the product portfolio, Bystronic has a very sound position in all price segments of the Chinese market. Therefore, in spite of the fierce competition, we expect continued growth in China in the year 2022.
Order intake in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region increased by 43.1% to a total of CHF 103.1 million and is significantly higher than in 2019 and 2020. Demand developed favorably throughout all four quarters and in a wide range of industries, such as agriculture and construction, and for medical, electronics, and electrical applications. All areas contributed to this growth: cutting, bending, and automation, as well as both the gold and silver segment.
With 31.9%, Bystronic achieved the highest sales growth in the APAC region. Overall, net sales in the year 2021 stood at CHF 95.1 million, thus outperforming the previous two years. Within the region, the situation was mixed: on the one hand, markets such as Korea, Japan, and Australia recovered very well due to government support programs and strong demand. On the other hand, customers in the Southeast Asian markets and in India continued to adopt a cautious approach amid ongoing COVID-19 related regulations. Therefore, the recovery of the investment volume of these customers was less dynamic.